While many will recognise these distinguished individuals for their extraordinary contribution to British culture and heritage, their refugee origins are less well known. Their families – or they themselves – have all fled persecution and sought sanctuary in the UK:
- Freddie Mercury fled the Zanzibar revolution with his family in the 1960s. He can be found near the Dominion Theatre, where the musical ‘We Will Rock You’ shows.
- Artist Lucian Freud, whose Jewish family were forced to flee Germany in 1930s, will be shown with his most famous sitter – big Sue from ‘Benefits Supervisor Sleeping’ – outside the National gallery.
- Lord Richard Rogers is an architect whose mother fled Trieste in Italy before the Second World War. Find him outside his greatest creation, the Millennium Dome.
- Sir John Houblon – whose face adorns £50 notes – can be found outside the Bank of England, of which he was the first governor. Houblon was the grandson of a French Huguenot refugee.
Marcus has also created three figurines to represent the current refugee crisis in Syria and our work to help refugees out of destitution. These will be placed outside the British Red Cross destitution centre in Dalston, Hackney.
How they’re made
Marcus Crocker is a 23-year-old artist who specialises in creating intricate sculptures to be left on the street. His figurines always convey a message, and this time Marcus has used his talent to highlight Refugee Week.
In the video below, Marcus explains a bit more about the project and his creative process:
Marcus says: “I hope the project will encourage people to see refugees in a new light: not simply as people who have fled persecution, but as people who have the potential to contribute invaluably to our history and heritage – just as Lucian Freud and others did, and continue to do.”
From today, Marcus’ figurines will be fending for themselves on the streets of the capital. When you find them, tweet your photos using the hashtag #RefugeeWeek.
Discover what else is happening for Refugee Week
Read about our services for refugees